A story I loved as a child was about two frogs who were playing leapfrog. What else?

But by mistake they jumped into a large vat of fresh cream. Finding no foothold they started swimming to avoid drowning. But one of the frogs was just too tired. He couldn’t take it and he croaked to his friend that he was finished. And sure enough, he sank to the bottom of that vat and died a miserable death. He really croaked.

But the other frog missed his friend, of course, saddened by his loss but he kept right on going persevering, swimming, persevering, persevering, swimming with determination. Here we go. He kept right on going. With perseverance and determined strokes he had churned that cream into butter and hopped out.

Source | As told in the film Loving Annabelle


Those who don’t give up and persevere may be in for a pleasant surprise!


In the 1995 film Smoke, Auggie Wren manages a cigar store on the corner of Third Street and Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn. Every morning at exactly eight o’clock, no matter what the weather, he takes a picture of the store from across the street. He has four thousand consecutive daily photographs of his corner all labeled by date and mounted in albums. He calls this project his “life’s work.”

One day Auggie shows the photos to Paul, a blocked writer who is mourning the death of his wife, a victim of random street violence. Paul doesn’t know what to say about the photos; he admits he has never seen anything like them. Flipping page after page of the albums, he observes with some amazement, “They’re all the same.” Auggie watches him, then replies: “You’ll never get it if you don’t slow down, my friend.”

The pictures are all of the same spot, Auggie points out, “but each one is different from every other one.” The differences are in the details: in the way people’s clothes change according to season and weather, in the way the light hits the street. Some days the corner is almost empty; other times it is filled with people, bikes, cars, and trucks. “Its just one little part of the world but things take place there too just like everywhere else,” Auggie explains. And sure enough, when Paul looks carefully at the by now remarkably unique photographs, he notices a detail in one of them that makes all the difference in the world to him.

Source | Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life, page 27


A Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu puts it, “One has to be in the same place every day, watch the dawn from the same house, hear the same birds awake each morning, to realize how inexhaustingly rich and different is sameness.”

Auggie reads the world – in his case, one corner in Brooklyn – for meaning.  By its very nature, his project is rooted in the everyday.  He knows how closely we may need to look to see the significance of seemingly ordinary and insignificant events.  He understands that some of the most rewarding spiritual journeys are those we take on our own block.


There is a story about the greek gods. They were bored, so they invented human beings, but they were still bored, so they invented love. Then they weren’t bored any longer, so they decided to try love for themselves. And finally they invented laughter, so they could stand it.

Source | Movie, Feast of Love


Boredom. Love. Laughter. How do these three words and three human experiences relate to each other?